Exclusive: Christian Bale Cast In Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Bride Of Frankenstein

Maggie Gyllenhaal is directing Bride of Frankenstein for Netflix, and Christian Bale will star in the remake.

By Michileen Martin | Published

christian bale bride of frankenstein

They first appeared together in 2008’s The Dark Knight, and now they’re remaking a classic for Netflix. We’ve learned from our trusted and proven sources that Maggie Gyllenhaal is directing a remake of Bride of Frankenstein for Netflix and that Christian Bale will star in the film. In most likelihood, rather than the iconic Monster, Bale will play Doctor Victor Frankenstein — the creator of the Monster and one of the creators of his Bride.

To be clear, Gyllenhaal’s Bride of Frankenstein is a completely separate project from Guillermo del Toro’s Frankenstein, which will also premiere on Netflix, and which we exclusively scooped would star Andrew Garfield. Instead, Christian Bale will star in a remake of the 1935 film — the very first sequel to 1931’s Frankenstein.

Assuming Christian Bale plays Doctor Frankenstein (as opposed to the Monster or perhaps even the antagonist), and depending on how closely Gyllenhaal’s version sticks to the source material, Bride of Frankenstein will potentially find Bale’s character forced into creating a mate for his Monster. In the original film, Doctor Frankenstein’s mentor — Doctor Septimus Pretorius — recruits the lonely Monster and together they force Frankenstein into helping them by kidnapping his wife Elizabeth. After the Bride is brought to life and rejects the Monster, the brute lets Frankenstein and his wife escape, but brings the laboratory down around everyone else, presumably killing himself, the Bride, and Pretorius.

Elsa Lanchester and Boris Karloff in Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

While our sources tell us that Maggie Gyllenhaal will direct the remake, there’s no word on whether or not the Oscar-nominated actress will join Christian Bale in front of the camera. The source material includes a number of prominent female roles: Frankenstein’s wife Elizabeth (played by Valerie Hobson in the original) and of course the Bride (Elsa Lanchester in the original). If Gyllenhaal were to play the former, it wouldn’t be the first time she starred as Bale’s love interest — she took over the role of Rachel (originated by Katie Holmes in Batman Begins) in The Dark Knight.

We wouldn’t be surprised if Gyllenhaal left the spotlight to Christian Bale. The last few years have seen her happier behind the camera. She hasn’t starred in a feature since the 2020 music Best Summer Ever.

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Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter (2021)

Meanwhile, she directed an episode of the pandemic-themed anthology series Homemade, and more notably helmed the 2021 psychological drama The Lost Daughter starring Olivia Colman. She stayed firmly behind the camera for that feature, so it wouldn’t be a shock if she does the same for Bride of Frankenstein.

There’s no word yet on any production dates, or more importantly when you can expect to see Christian Bale in Bride of Frankenstein, but when we know we’ll make sure you know.